Report: Teams using extra caution when contacting DeAndre Hopkins
NFL teams are free to negotiate with DeAndre Hopkins after the star wide receiver was released by the Arizona Cardinals this week, but those who are interested are apparently proceeding with caution.
Hopkins does not have an agent. With the veteran technically representing himself in any free-agent contract negotiations, Mike Florio reports that teams have chosen to not communicate with Hopkins via email. The reason for that is that team executives do not want to unknowingly communicate with a non-certified agent who is pretending to be Hopkins.
Back in March, the NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams reminding them that they are prohibited from negotiating with player representatives who are not certified by the NFL Players Association. At the time, it was believed that an unauthorized individual was attempting to communicate with teams on behalf of Lamar Jackson, who also does not have an agent.
Florio notes that uncertified player representatives have been known to communicate with teams either by pretending to be the player or through burner email accounts. One team became aware of the practice when they received an email from a player who was on the practice field at the time the email was sent.
By insisting on either telephone, video chat, or in-person communications with Hopkins, teams can be certain that they are negotiating with him and him only.
Hopkins was released by the Cardinals after they were unable to find a trade suitor for him. He has been repeatedly linked to one AFC team, though he will likely draw interest from plenty of others.